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Mack Maine on buying emoji and NFT startup Yat

Everybody loves emojis for expressing themselves via text and instant messaging apps. And much more recently, some techies want to monetize them.

Yat, cofounded by entrepreneur Naveen Jain, may be the company behind a fresh kind of online identity called yats, a distinctive mix of emojis that become a custom emoji identity, domain, username, NFT, and collectible, all in a single. Yats are touted to provide users the opportunity to own their online identities independently from companies like Meta and Google. A one- to five-character design costs from $4 to thousands of dollars. The shorter and much more memorable the combination, the bigger the purchase price, typically.

Nearly 160,000 yats have already been sold for a combined $20 million since last February once the company launched. The best price covered a yat was $425,000 for the single-character key emoji.

Like the NFT wave earlier this season, Yat is attracting numerous celebrity investors and promoters. Included in this is rapper and songwriter Mack Maine, who recently shared more with Fortune about his decision to purchase the business.

  • Startup: Yat
  • Location: Nashville
  • Year founded: 2021
  • Valuation: Declined to reveal
  • Investment level: Declined to reveal
  • Amount of employees: 80
  • Other major investors: Blockchain Capital, Collab+Currency, G-Eazy, Hack VC, Lil Wayne, Slow Ventures, The Roots

Why he invested, in their own words

I acquired associated with Yat soon after the launch in early2021. I thought the idea was dope, and immediately locked down Yats for me personally, Lil Wayne, and Young Money. Everyone uses emojis to communicate, which is a good solution to use emojis to communicate who we have been.

Through the years, weve established the brands of Young Money, Lil Wayne and Mack Maine. Yatis a good way of extending and reinforcing brand identities online wherepeople can keep company with ourbrands visually. Emojis help tell stories and there is absolutely no other solution to communicate so much with just a couple of characters.

Ownership is essential for all of us, and we have now own these emoji identities forever. Which means a whole lot. Giving the energy to all or any creators to get a self-expressive solution to own and control their identities sold me on investing. In addition, Yat is building incredible new tools for web3 creators and collectors.

That is an installment ofWhy I Invested, aseries featuring famous investors from various different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to get their own profit a fresh business.

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